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PIA Press Release
2008/08/29

Dredging destroys aquatic ecosystem and environment, says BFAR

Tuguegarao City (29 August) -- Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Jovita P. Ayson expressed concern on the possible effects of the dredging activity on the aquatic ecosystem and environment of Cagayan.

She said result of the ocular survey and studies conducted by the technical team of BFAR on the ongoing dredging activities along the shores of the Cagayan River confirmed the huge extraction of river sand in the municipalities of Lallo, Aparri and Camalaniugan by a large scale capacity dredge and ships.

Ayson said dredging may result to the modification of the river bed. The extraction of gravel and sand may also lead to the destruction of the habitat, spawning areas and food producing zones.

Based on studies, some areas in the municipality of Lallo are identified as spawning areas for endemic clams that live predominantly in sandy river beds and also the migratory path for catadromous fishes. Sand extraction may therefore greatly affect their natural habitat and spawning grounds.

The team also noticed that there was no proper disposal of cement bags found along the shores. They said the cement bags contain alkaline compounds that may increase the power hydrogen level of the water.

Ayson said dredging is a term given to digging, gathering or pulling out of materials to deepen waterways, create harbors, channels, locks and berths, desilt lakes and keep river entrances and approaches clear for boat ramps.

Dredging activity causes adverse effects on aquatic resources, may change the environment and create disturbance on the aquatic ecosystem.

She explained that BFAR does not object the ongoing project, however, the proponents and sponsors should have conducted thorough research on the possible impact of the activity first so that mitigating measures may be made to protect the aquatic resources in the areas affected.

Meanwhile, the dredging was approved by the local government units with an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Environment Management Bureau (EMB). However, other pertinent documents, permits and clearances from other line agencies such as DOLE, DOH, DPWH, BFAR, PPA and PCG were not secured.

Project implementors should furnish the concerned agencies with the detailed proposal and plan of action of the dredging activity for them to ensure that it is properly undertaken and well-managed," Ayson added. (PIA Cagayan) [top]

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